Likelihood of Confusion Blog

When Fakery Turns Fatal

Originally posted 2011-02-13 19:15:20. Republished by Blog Post PromoterThe New York Times reports about an aspect of trademark enforcement which, among the disputes over rent-seeking and IP overreach, is often forgotten: The value of trademarks as a guarantor of quality in mission-critical, or life-and-death, situations. The weak link is China: Experts say counterfeiters are now moving to outlying areas of the country, where it is easier to evade regulation. The counterfeiters are also moving into food and agriculture, which are difficult to monitor because they involve small farmers and entrepreneurs. Small-time entrepreneurs have played the same game over and over... Read more

Conoce a los bloggers – INTA Barcelona 2017

Ay, Dios mio… viviendo el sueño.  ¿Es realmente posible en nuestro mundo tanto triste y prosaico? ¡Di me, Elvis!  ¡Di me la verdad! Yes, yes, yes! The trademark bloggers are back and we’re doing it Iberian-style!  If you’re going to Barcelona for INTA 2017, you must needs RSVP and actually physically attend MEET THE BLOGGERS — not merely perhaps, but now definitely officially unofficially recognized as the best non-INTA event ever devised by mankind for purposes of events taking place at the same time and place as the INTA annual meeting. Lucky MTB XIII will be held on Monday, May 22nd, 7:30... Read more

Trademark phrase

Originally posted 2013-11-03 23:05:03. Republished by Blog Post PromoterHere’s an interesting newspaper article demonstrating how fed up people are getting with the claiming of trademark rights (regrettably, based frequently on registrations) in “catchphrases,” which we just discussed here. These claims, again, are seen as entirely specious if one remembers that trademark law seeks to avoid… what was the term again? Yes — LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION. Which, in the examples shown in the article, will virtually never be shown — if a defendant has the time and money to challenge the bullies that send the cease and desist letters. Read more

Patent reform

Originally posted 2010-02-23 23:59:25. Republished by Blog Post PromoterI joke about patents here, but it’s from love, believe me. If you have anything to do with intellectual property law, however, you are likely to get buttonholed by someone who wants your opinion about “the new patent law.” So if you have to read just one opinion about it — and I can’t imagine reading more than one for free — naturally it should be Dennis Crouch’s. Read more

Posner’s “judicial interpretive updating” and the disparagement clause

Thank God for small favors.  Like being far away from the Seventh Circuit these days if you or your client want to rely on the words of a statute to determine what the law is. Simon Tam and the Slants do. An important argument in Respondent Simon Tam’s merits brief submitted in the U.S. Supreme Court review of In Re Tam, 808 F.3d 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2015) was, as was observed by a select few, premised on statutory, not constitutional interpretation.  And that argument obviously relies on the words of the Lanham Act and their likely meaning based on the time and... Read more

Hooters Overreaching on Trade "Dress": You can look but you’d better not touch

Originally posted 2005-01-27 09:21:00. Republished by Blog Post PromoterIP News Blog at Pierce reports that the high-class joint Hooters has lost an attempt to claim trade dress rights in the colors worn by their high-class waitresses. What was this “trade dress”? According to Randall Zidones, who posted the item, “The girls at [competitor] Winghouse wore red shorts and white tank tops, similar to the orange shorts and white tank tops of the Hooters Girls.” Orange shorts and white tank tops, “trade dress”? When will it end? When judges stop it. Looks like one did. UPDATE: She really did, bless her... Read more

The right to write

Originally posted 2010-12-15 16:51:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter The online News of Australia reports (via Quizlaw) that a New York federal judge has granted a preliminary order preventing the enforcement of a New York City law banning graffiti-writing paraphrenalia — spray paint and broad-tipped markers — from purchase by those under 20 but above 18. US District Judge George Daniels granted the temporary order pending the outcome of a suit by the artists and backed by fashion designer Marc Ecko. “It is unreasonable to tell young artists that they have the right to express themselves,” but then place “unreasonable... Read more

Likelihood of extrusion

Reprinting my annual Passover post. The first seder is tonight, Monday April 10th. I’ll be offline and unaccountable for comment moderation, glitch control or anything else until the night of the 12th, New York time: Here’s a nice thought on the topic, apropos for our 24/6 social media lifestyle: The 21st century is certainly a marvelous time in which to live. Space exploration, computerization, the taming of vicious diseases are all truly amazing feats. But we also suffer more burnout, mental exhaustion, attention deficit disorders and high blood pressure than ever before. They are no doubt the effects of our own hi-tech... Read more

EU Not Soft on Patents

Originally posted 2011-11-08 11:19:29. Republished by Blog Post PromoterMatt Sheffield reports: Software Patents Rejected by EU. (Hat tip to Dean Esmay.) If you’ve read the blog before you know what I think about patents. But this is pretty newsorthy, and, as Sheffield notes, has very interesting micro- and macroeconomic implications. Open source and file-sharing are two sides of the same coin. That doesn’t mean the answer to one is the answer to the other — that would be facile. But the issues are certainly related, and watching them unfold is actually more interesting than reading a patent application — which... Read more